Late goals seal victory for Orlando City over Colorado

Orlando City finally recorded their first win at home of the season and it came in dramatic fashion. On a stormy night in front of an announced crowd of 22,450 at Orlando City Stadium, the Lion’s twice trailed only to rally and come back to win an exciting game at the death.

Serial goalscorer against Orlando, Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the 9th minute as sloppy defending allowed the striker to fire home past a stranded Brian Rowe in the Lion’s goal. Nani then leveled things up with his first-ever MLS goal in the 31st minute, heading in at the back post, after good work by João Moutinho.

Two minutes later, Orlando grabbed their first home lead of the season as right back Ruan charged away from his own area after a Rapids corner. The 23 year old Brazilian then worked a cross to Dom Dwyer and his strike was well saved by Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard only to fall to Tesho Akindele (pictured below), who made up for an earlier miss, by slotting home his second goal of the season to give the men in purple the lead.

Half time was then extended to just over an hour due to bad weather delay and when the teams emerged it was the visitors who grasped the initiative. First, Nicolás Mezquida headed home an equalizer in the 61st minute and then Cole Bassett curled home a left-footed beauty to make it 3-2 ten minutes later.

It wasn’t long before the home supporters were baying for Chris Mueller to be introduced to the game and they duly got their wish in the 79th minute. Just as last week against D.C. Utd, the youngster immediately impacted the game as he rolled home the equalizing goal to make it 3-3 two minutes later. Duly rallied by their supporters, Orlando started to put immense pressure on the visitors and in the 89th minute Axel Sjöberg handled the ball in the penalty area to give the Lion’s the chance to win the game.

Up stepped Nani and cool as a cucumber he sent Howard the wrong way and 3 points were on their way to an ecstatic set of supporters.

After the game Orlando Head Coach James O’Connor said: “I would say this is probably the proudest moment I’ve had since I’ve been here. Not just because of the way the players have come back, but you look at the supporters. We’ve got a rain delay, we’ve got lightning and you look around and it feels like all of Orlando is in the stadium. It’s incredible. This is a very special football club and for us to be able to go and win a game like that, we’re obviously very, very pleased.”

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Brian Rowe; D Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Carlos Ascues (Uri Rosell 30’); M João Moutinho, Sacha Kljestan, Ⓒ Nani (Kyle Smith 90+2’), Sebastián Méndez (Chris Mueller 79’), Ruan; F Tesho Akindele, Dom Dwyer

Substitutes Not Used: GK Adam Grinwis; D Kamal Miller; F Santiago Patiño, Josué Colmán

Colorado Rapids – GK Tim Howard; D Dillon Serna (Axel Sjöberg 46’), Deklan Wynne, Kofi Opare, Keegan Rosenberry; M Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Cole Bassett, Nicolás Mezquida (Andre Shinyashiki 83’), Benny Feilhaber (Sam Nicholson 72’); F Kei Kamara

Substitutes Not Used: GK Clint Irwin; D Sam Vines, Sebastian Anderson; M Nana Boateng

Attendance: 22,450

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

 

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